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FORM COEFFICIENTS

Form coefficients are ratios which numerically compare the
ships underwater form to that of a regular shape (such as a
rectangle or box-shape).

They are primarily used at the design stage, prior to
construction, to determine factors such as resistance to forward
motion that the ship will experience during operation, this then
being used to determine the ships power requirements/engine(s)
size.

Design coefficients of primary concern are:

Coefficient of fineness of the water-plane area (C
W
)

Block coefficient (C
B
)

Midships coefficient (C
M
)

Longitudinal prismatic coefficient (C
P
)

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Coefficient of fineness of the water-plane area (C
W
)
Is defined as the ratio of the ships water-plane area to the area
of a rectangle having the same length and breadth of the ship at
the waterline in question.
WPA (m
2
)
Waterline length
Waterline
Cw = WPA
L B
Since the ships WPA is less in area than the rectangle formed
around it , the value of C
W
must always be less than 1.00.
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C
B
= Volume of displacement
L B d

Therefore: Displacement
SHIP
= (L B d C
B
)

Since the ships volume of displacement is less than the volume
of displacement of the surrounding block, the value of C
B
must
always be less than 1.00.

Block coefficient is an important factor when the assigned
freeboard of a ship is being calculated (see Calculation and
Assignment of Freeboard notes.)
Block coefficient (C
B
)
The block coefficient (C
B
) of a ship is the ratio of the
underwater volume of a ship to the volume of the
circumscribing block.
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Similarly, the value of C
M
must always be less than 1.00.
Midships coefficient (C
M
)
The midships coefficient (C
M
) of a ship at any draught is the
ratio of the underwater transverse area of the midships section
to the product of the breadth and draught (the surrounding
rectangle.
Draught
W L
C
M

= Underwater transverse area of midships section (A
m
)
A
m

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This coefficient gives an indication of how much the ships form
changes at the ends. Similarly, the value of C
P
must always be
less than 1.00.
Longitudinal prismatic coefficient (C
P
)
The longitudinal prismatic coefficient (C
P
) of a ship at any
draught is the ratio of the underwater volume of the ship to the
volume of the prism formed by the product of the transverse
area of the midships section and the waterline length.
C
P
= Volume of displacement of ship
Volume of prism
C
P
= Volume of displacement of ship
Waterline length Area of midship section (Am)